The Best Used Cars Under $10,000 According to Consumer Reports

Finding a good used car under $10,000 isn’t always the most straightforward process. Typically, once a car is in this price point it’s either an older model or it’s high mileage. It can help put a car shopper’s mind at ease to narrow down options by doing a little research. Here are the best used cars under $10,000 according to Consumer Reports.

2013 Volkswagen Beetle driving on a bridge over a large body of water is now one of the best used cars under $10,000.
Volkswagen Beetle | Volkswagen U.S. Media

Every so often, Consumer Reports updates consumers with new options for good used cars in several price brackets. This new list differs from the last Consumer Reports recommendation we reported on for the best used cars on a budget. Let’s take a look at the small cars, midsized, large, and luxury sedans on the new list of the best used cars for buyers on a budget.

Small cars for a small budget according to Consumer Reports

For shoppers looking for a small car, there are several recommendations for good used cars under $10,000. The Honda Fit is first on the list. Consumer Reports recommends the 2011-2013 Honda Fit. This small hatchback offers generous interior and cargo space, gets about 31 MPG, and is priced from $7,7575-$8,525.

A blue 2011 Honda Fit parked outside in the city.
2011 Honda Fit | Honda

Shoppers on a budget might also want to check out the 2012-2013 Mazda3. This model costs between $7,425-$10,800. The Mazda3 gets about 30 MPG and Consumer Reports recommends it as one of the best used cars under $10,000.

In addition to the Mazda3 and the Honda Fit, Consumer Reports also recommends the Nissan Leaf from the model years 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2016. This small EV hatchback has a range of 75 miles, with and MPGe estimate of 106 miles. A used Nissan Leaf from these model years typically runs between $3,050-$10,625.

However, if Japanese engineering isn’t what you are looking for Consumer Reports also includes the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle (26 MPG). Used car shoppers can find the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle between $9,025-$13,225. It’s a little more pricey, but the Beetle is still doable for under $10,000.

No good used car list is complete without a host of Toyota models

A white 2012 Toyota Corolla coming off the assembly line.
Toyota Corolla | YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/GettyImages

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Nearly any list of used cars out there has at least one Toyota model on it––if not a host of them. In fact, on this Consumer Reports list of the best used cars under $10,000 there are five Toyota models. Unsurprisingly, the Toyota Corolla made the cut. Priced between $8,425-$9,275, the 2011-2013 Toyota Corolla models get about 30 MPG.

Three different Prius models are on the list too. The 2011-2012 Toyota Prius costs around $9,000 and gets 45 MPG. On the other hand, the 2012-2014 Toyota Prius C goes for about $9 grand as well. This model gets 48 MPG. The 2012 Toyota Prius V (40 MPG) generally costs just a few hundred dollars more, and Consumer Reports also recommends it as one of the best used cars under $10,000.

There’s one more used Toyota model on the list. However, we will talk about that one below. It’s one of the best midsized, large, and luxury used sedans for under $10 grand.

Midsized, large, and luxury used sedans for under $10,000

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If none of those options are your speed, Consumer Reports still has a few more to recommend. First up, the legendary Honda Accord. Model years 2011-2012 generally cost between $8,075-$10,400. The Accord gets about 25 MPG.

For those looking for a little luxury, the 2011-2012 Infiniti G models are good used cars under $10K. The G25 option runs a 2.5 liter V6, but for more power buyers should opt for the Infiniti G37 with its stronger 3.7 liter V6 power plant ($8,875-$9,500). The Infiniti G cars get an average of about 21 MPG.

A silver 2012 Toyota Camry driving at speed on a scenic road near an evergreen forest.
2012 Toyota Camry | Toyota Motor Corp.

The next good used car recommended by Consumer Reports is Toyota’s midsize sedan––the tried and true Toyota Camry. This model has a great reputation for longevity and reliability. A 2011-2012 Toyota Camry costs $8,600-$9,850 and gets about 26 MPG.

What are best used cars under $10,000?

This list shows shoppers the Consumer Reports recommendation for the best used cars under $10,000 according to Consumer Reports. While this list is great for informing research, it does not mean that these used sedans and small cars are the only good used cars for a small budget. Smart car buying takes some time and effort.

While Consumer Reports is a great place to start, other places like Kelley Blue Book and J.D. Power also put out similar lists. Cross-referencing multiple sources is the best way for used car shoppers to learn about the models they are interested in. That said, the models that Consumer Reports recommends do have high reliability ratings and fit under the $10,000 price bracket.